Eiji Toyoda, architect of the “lean manufacturing” method helped turned the automaker Toyota, into a global powerhouse and changed the face of modern manufacturing. 'In almost six decades with the company he helped transform a tiny spinoff of a textile loom maker into the world’s biggest automaker. Early on, he helped put Toyota at the forefront of a wave of automobile production in Japan, pushing it to bolster its lineup, first by adding compact vehicles and sports cars in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s he initiated the development of luxury models to compete with the likes of Mercedes-Benz and BMW, culminating with the Lexus brand in 1989.' [more inside]
"All my life, I have searched for a car that feels a certain way ... powerful like a gorilla, yet soft and yielding like a Nerf ball ... now at last I have found it." -- 22 years later, "The Homer" is now a reality. [more inside]
While Tesla Motors expects its first profitable quarter (despite some bad press), the electric car competitor it unsuccessfully sued for stealing its technology, Fisker Automotive, teeters on the brink of insolvency. How did Fisker, a company valued at over $1 billion dollars at the beginning of 2013, end up in this sitation? A Timeline of Fisker's Rise and Fall
Chromeography is a tumblr devoted to images of chrome: the lettering, logos, and ornaments adorning old automobiles (and bicycles and cameras and appliances).
Craftsmen and women, some of them the last of their breed, making their art by hand and profiled in beautiful short-form videos: Knifemaker. Ornamental glass artist (previously). Master printer . Swordguard maker (previously). Beekeeper and honey maker. Stone lettercarvers. Carmaker. More, and related, at This Is Made By Hand, FolkStreams.net and (less related, but still wonderful) eGarage.
Bart Hickey is an incredibly inspiring blind auto mechanic who owns his own shop called B.A.T. Automotive. [SLVimeo]
The acquisition of Porsche by Volkswagen, just weeks after a Porsche attempt to take over VW via a series of complex stock options backfired, appears to be the latest salvo in the longstanding feud between cousins Ferdinand Piech and Wolfgang Porsche. [more inside]
We put together Bringatrailer.com because finding great vintage cars online has become too much of a hassle. There is no need to keep sifting through hundreds of hopeless projects or overpriced dealer inventories to find that one car you’ve been looking for. We pick the winners and save you the trouble… the best bargains, the best dream cars, and the best rarities.
The Tata Nano (pic) is a car that costs less new than the amount I've spent on gas during single car trips, recently announced to the auto market in India. The Chery QQ ^, successful , widely exported, and recognized as the Hostage Taker's Vehicle of Choice by China Car Times, is the runner-up for the world's cheapest car but is still approximately twice as expensive. Yes indeed, the price of gas is not going to come back down. So much for my coast-to-coast road trips. [more inside]
For years, MDI has been developing a car that runs on compressed air. Last month, they signed an agreement with Tata Motors to produce the MiniCat - a zero-emissions vehicle that will travel up to 180 miles on $3 worth of fuel. See it in action here. (youtube)
Hack your car. AutoXRAY scans internal vehicle computers and gives detailed diagnostics and real-time graphing output.
FUH2! Flipping the bird at Hummers. Collaborative web photography just doesn't get much better than that. (With the possible exception of the Mirror Project, which, by the way, just hit 20,000. Congratulations!)
Pssst! Wanna Buy A Reliable, Second-Hand Car? You could do worse than start with Honest John, a plain-speaking, fiercely independent Cockney motor car wonk who'll see you right, no problem. If you're obsessive about reliability, i.e. don't have the time or inclination to look after your wheels and just want the damn thing to get you from A to B and back again, check out the often surprising Reliability Index for the most and least trustworthy automobiles. [Eurocentric warning! Btw, what are the most reliable independent car guides - preferably free and online - in the U.S, Canada, etc?]
Drive on air. A new engine design that not only runs on air, but cleans it too.
Certain things like this irk me just as much as the next guy, but it always makes me wonder how it can bother someone so much to create an organization against it.
Honda's releasing the first electric-gas hybrid car this year. It claims to get up to 70mpg too. I love innovative vehicles and cutting edge design, but I have to admit I think it's butt ugly (although, this does remind me of my old CRX). I bet they'll want $30k-$50k for it too. So close, yet so far... (update: they want about 20 grand for it - not that bad for an electric/gas car, but it is still just a two-seater)